Aspects of Local Government in a Sumbawan Village

By Peter R. Goethals | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
SUMBAWA: AN ORIENTATION

(1) The island of Sumbawa

In its greatest dimension the Indonesian archipelago sweeps southeastwards from the Malay peninsula along a three thousand mile arc of mountainous islands reaching almost to New Guinea. This arc divides the deep basin of the Indian Ocean to the south from the interior seas of Malaysia spreading north to Luzon. In its western sector it follows the massive volcanic spines of Sumatra and Java. Farther east the arc breaks into a chain of smaller volcanic islands extending from Java’s eastern tip a thousand miles into the Molucca sea. These islands of the eastern chain bear the collective name in Malay of Nusa Tenggara,1 the “southeast islands”. From the geographic perspective of Indonesia’s four main islands they are, indeed, accurately named: while comprising the

1 The conventions of orthography and underlining to be used throughout the paper are as follows:
a. Generally familiar geographic names from Malay or Indonesian will be rendered in current
Indonesian orthography but not underlined. Included are the names of islands, seas, bays,
mountains, capes.
b. Other terms in general use in western Sumbawa, whether specific to basa Semawa (Sumbawan
language) or borrowed from Indonesian, will be underlined consistently and translated in
parentheses in their first occurrence in text or footnoes. This will include formal titles and
the designations for political divisions. Titles when linked with personal names will not be
underlined, but only capitalized.
c. Indonesian loan words will be given in standard Indonesian orthography and, when
necessary, their provenience indicated upon first occurrence. Most of the underlined terms are
Sumbawan and are not specifically so identified. However, the Sumbawan terms are listed in
a phonetically more accurate orthography than that of the Indonesian words. It distinguishes
the eight vowel phonemes of basa Semawa but maintains Indonesian spelling conventions
for certain unit phonemes (those rendered by the digraphs ng, dj, tj, in particular).
d. Plurals for certain Malay, Sumbawan, and Indonesian terms are rendered by adding the
English -s.

-15-

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Aspects of Local Government in a Sumbawan Village
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Table of Contents 5
  • Preface 9
  • Introduction 11
  • Acknowledgements 13
  • Chapter One- Sumbawa- An Orientation 15
  • Chapter Two- Rarak- A Village in Upland Western Sumbawa 49
  • Chapter Three- Authority and Community at Rarak 65
  • Chapter Four- Authority and the Citizen- Cases 117
  • Chapter Five 137
  • Bibliography 159
  • Glossary 169
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